North Korean Ship Carrying 30,000 Rocket Launchers Seized By Egypt

 

In a fascinating report that provides a glimpse into the shadowy North Korean black-market economy, the Washington Post has published a story about a 2016 incident in which Egyptian authorities intercepted a North Korean ship bearing a Cambodian flag after being alerted by US authorities. After searching the ship, Egyptian law enforcement discovered something unexpected: a trove of nearly 24,000 rocket launchers, and components for 6,000 more weapons, hidden below a large pile of loose iron ore.

But perhaps the biggest surprise for the Egyptian authorities emerged when they tried to determine for whom the weapons were intended, and discovered that they had been secretly purchased by the Egyptian military in violation of international sanctions against NK arms sales. Further compounding the irony, Egypt had recently joined the UN Security Council – the international body sponsoring said sanctions – before deciding to circumvent them and buy the weapons. Continue reading

Germany and France Unveil New Plans for a European Military

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) and French President Emmanuel Macron deliver a joint press conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris on July 13, 2017, during an annual Franco-German Summit. (PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

 

The two nations announce plans for a new fighter jet, a new fighting force in Africa, and a new push for a eurozone superstate.

On July 13, Germany and France held their first joint cabinet meeting since France’s presidential election, and the two leading European countries announced some eye-catching new military projects.

This was the first such meeting since Emmanuel Macron won the presidential election on May 7. Since then, there has been much talk of a new era of Franco-German cooperation. On Thursday, the pressure was on to demonstrate results. Continue reading

The war you’ve never heard of

Note: Please see the source for the documents.

 

Source: Vice News

 

The U.S. is waging a massive shadow war in Africa, exclusive documents reveal

Six years ago, a deputy commanding general for U.S. Army Special Operations Command gave a conservative estimate of 116 missions being carried out at any one time by Navy SEALs, Army Green Berets, and other special operations forces across the globe.

Today, according to U.S. military documents obtained by VICE News, special operators are carrying out nearly 100 missions at any given time — in Africa alone. It’s the latest sign of the military’s quiet but ever-expanding presence on the continent, one that represents the most dramatic growth in the deployment of America’s elite troops to any region of the globe. Continue reading

The Militarization of West Africa

BERLIN/N’DJAMENA/BAMAKO (Own report) – Berlin is using today’s visit of Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari to enhance its rapidly growing military influence in West Africa. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s trip to Africa early this week has already revealed Germany’s growing military importance on the African continent. According to reports, a “change” can already be noted, particularly in Mali. Traditionally within France’s exclusive sphere of influence, the EU, “fundamentally under German leadership,” is now increasingly determining that country’s development. The German government is also expanding the Bundeswehr’s activities and the supply of military hardware to Niger and Chad, along with the construction of a military base in Niger’s capital Niamey. Berlin is also seeking to obtain influence in the war against Boko Haram in Nigeria. The first accords on support measures had already been reached with Nigeria last year. Germany is enhancing its network of influence in West Africa by increasing the deployment of expeditionary troops, the establishment of military bases and by supplying military aid. This could possibly reduce France’s traditional political and military predominance in its former colonies.

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Major Powers and their Wars (II)

BERLIN (Own report) – In an article published by the leading German foreign policy journal, an influential diplomat predicts that worldwide, there will be a further increase in the number of wars and their victims, this year. “The number of conflicts, their victims, and their refugees” has been increasing worldwide, for the past five years and this development will “most likely continue this year.” The journal, “Internationale Politik,” substantiates this assumption by presenting an overview of the current wars. Today’s deadliest wars – in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, and South Sudan – are indeed a direct or indirect outcome of western hegemonic policies. With its military interventions or subversive support for insurgents, this policy is aimed at provoking pro-western putsches or weakening non-compliant states. “Internationale Politik” assesses the possibility of conflicts in China’s vicinity. During the years of China’s rise, western powers were unsuccessful in knitting strong ties with the resource-rich Arab world, in view of the impending power struggle with the People’s Republic of China. This power struggle is already emerging.

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Saudi Arabia forms anti-terror military alliance

If it’s not limited to ISIS, then this could also be perceived as a hedge against Iran and possibly a new bloc opposed to Israel.

 

“The countries here mentioned have decided on the formation of a military alliance led by Saudi Arabia to fight terrorism, with a joint operations center based in Riyadh to coordinate and support military operations,” the statement said. Continue reading

State Department: Yeah, Christianity Is Under Attack Worldwide

With the rise of the Islamic State the world has witnessed the persecution of Christians at an alarming rate. But the religious group is being targeted well beyond the confines of the Middle East, the State Department’s annual International Religious Liberty report found. Continue reading

How China Is Building the Biggest Commercial-Military Empire in History

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China’s outsized latticework of global infrastructure is said to be rooted in a fierce sense of competitiveness which they claim they learned from 19th century America.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the sun famously never set on the British empire. A commanding navy enforced its will, yet all would have been lost if it were not for ports, roads, and railroads. The infrastructure that the British built everywhere they went embedded and enabled their power like bones and veins in a body.

Great nations have done this since Rome paved 55,000 miles (89,000 km) of roads and aqueducts in Europe. In the 19th and 20th centuries, Russia and the United States established their own imprint, skewering and taming nearby territories with projects like the Trans-Siberian and the Trans-Continental railways.

Now it’s the turn of the Chinese. Much has been made of Beijing’s “resource grab” in Africa and elsewhere, its construction of militarized artificial islands in the South China Sea and, most recently, its new strategy to project naval power broadly in the open seas. Continue reading

African states push back on Chinese oil deals

NIAMEY, Niger – In Niger, government officials have fought a Chinese oil giant step by step, painfully undoing parts of a contract they call ruinous. In neighboring Chad, they have been even more forceful, shutting down the Chinese and accusing them of gross environmental negligence. In Gabon, they have seized major oil tracts from China, handing them over to the state company.

China wants Africa’s oil as much as ever. But instead of accepting the old terms, which many African officials call unconditional surrender, some cash-starved African states are pushing back, showing an assertiveness unthinkable until recently and suggesting that the days of unbridled influence by the African continent’s mega-investor may be waning. Continue reading